Nursing is a profession that has helped in many ways to make this world of suffering a better place in which to live. Mrs. E. G. W hite has counseled us : "Every nurse is to be a channel of blessing, receiving light from above, and letting it shine forth to others. . . . The atmosphere that surrounds their souls is to be a savor of life unto life."—"Testimonies," Vol. VIII, p. 144.
At times some have felt that there were too many nurses and that the profession was overcrowded. This is not so, for God's messenger has told us : "I could wish that there were one hundred nurses in training where there is one. . . . Both men and women can be so much more useful as medical missionaries than as missionaries without the medical education."—"Counsels on Health," p. 503. A medical education enables one to reach all classes of society.
Mrs. E. G. White mentions our training schools very specifically as follows : "The work should have a definite aim, and should be thorough." "Instruction should be given in agriculture, . . . healthful cookery, sewing, . . . treatment of the sick. . . . The work in every line should be under the direction of skilled instructors."—"Education," p. 218.
"Earnest, devoted young people are needed to enter the work of God as nurses. . . . Oh that all who are afflicted could be ministered to by Christlike physicians and nurses who could help them to place their weary, pain-racked bodies in the care of the Great Healer." --"Medical Ministry," p. 197. Yes, there is a truly great need for the right type of nurse. "Observation, and the practice of that which has been learned, will enable our youth to become efficient nurses, with superior skill."—"Counsels to Teachers," p. 470.
There are many requirements for the nurse who would work for God. "Every nurse . . . who has anything to do in God's service, must aim at perfection. . . . Theirs is a most exacting calling, and their preparation must be painstaking and thorough."—Ibid. "Nurses, and all who have to do with the sickroom, should be cheerful, calm, and self-possessed. All hurry, excitement, or confusion should be avoided. . . . Ignorance, forgetfulness, and recklessness have caused the death of many who might have lived had they received proper care from judicious, thoughtful nurses."—"Ministry of Healing," pp. 221, 222. Her own health is also a requirement. (See "Counsels on Health," p. 407.)
The duties of a Christian nurse go far beyond the physical care of her patient. She must be able to give needed spiritual help. "Nurses should have regular Bible instruction, that they may be able to speak to the sick words that will enlighten and help them."—"Medical Ministry," p. 202. In the lives of nurses the virtues of Christ are to be seen.
Many times the nurse will come in contact with people who have religious and moral standards very different from those of true Christians. "Workers who are thrown into the society of worldlings need to have Jesus held up before them. . . . Counteracting influences should always be exerted lest . . . the worldly element shall steal away hearts from God. Never let the worldly class be honored and great deference be paid to them above those who love God."—"Counsels on Health," Y. 422.
Further responsibilities and opportunities of the missionary nurse are set forth as follows :
"There are many lines of work to be carried forward by the missionary nurse. . . . In almost every community there are large numbers who do not attend any religious service. If they are reached by the gospel, it must be carried to their homes. . . . As missionary nurses care for the sick and relieve the distress of the poor, they will find many opportunities to pray with them. . . . They can bring a ray of hope into the lives of the defeated and disheartened."—"Medical Ministry," PP. 246, 247.
"Many can be reached only through acts of disinterested kindness. Their physical wants must first be relieved. Missionary nurses are best qualified for this work."—"Testirnonies," Vol. VI, p. 84.
"The nurses who are trained in our institutions are to be fitted up to go out as medical missionary evangelists, uniting the ministry of the Word with that of physical healing."—"Counsels on Health," p. 396.
"The cause of God in the earth today is in need of living representatives of Bible truth. . . . God is calling . . . nurses . . . who have a knowledge of the word of God and who know the power of His grace, to consider the needs of the unwarned cities. Time is rapidly passing, and there is much to be done !"—"Acts of the Apostles," p. 158.
I believe God in heaven looks down with great joy and gratitude upon this work of Christian nurses and will continue to bless them.